The Topper Class is one of the most respected sailboat racing classes in the Philippines.
There are 8 Topper dinghies at Taal Lake Yacht Club, as of October 2000, and the class is expected to grow in other clubs as well. The Association is headquartered at TLYC.
The Topper is used both on the racing circuit as well as its being the mainstay of the country’s largest sail training program. TLYC started a unique sponsorship program to promote the class.
Every second Sunday of the month, Topper regattas are open to all. The country’s best sailors converge on Taal Lake Yacht Club to battle it out in evenly matched boats that are owned or managed by TLYC. The sailboats are are available for rent for about $20/ day. They are practically brand new as of this writing, and are in good condition. Sometimes there are more sailors than there are boats, so alternate heats are held. There is a “Topper Ladder” that lists the current top placers. The top sailors on the Topper ladder reflect the names of many of the top sailors in the country.
You can race in the Topper races, or you can challenge anyone on the Topper ladder, which is prominently displayed at TLYC.
There is also a “race against time”. You can try to break the record for the fastest time to “Alessandra’s Rock”, and back. Currently the Topper record is held by Peter Capotosto and it stands at one hour six minutes, 23 seconds.
The President’s Cup Regatta in 2001 is expected to feature Topper racing.
Taal Lake Yacht Club uses Toppers as the mainstay of its sail training program. The Topper dinghies are ideal because they are small enough to be used by small kids, yet they can be used to teach adult sailors. The sails can be reefed easily, and if necessary, can be reefed on the water.
The boats are injection molded plastic and seem to be able to take a lot of abuse. They are very forgiving and easy to sail, yet are surprisingly fast and they plane easily.
Under TLYC’s ponsorship program, an individual or corporation can buy a boat and pledge to fully donate the boat to TLYC after 5 years. During the interim, both the club and the individual can use the boat, and the individual gets free prefered membership as well as free boat storage for the boat.
For more information about the topper class, sailing lessons in the Philippines, the Topper racing programs or Taal Lake Yacht Club, you can call Peter Capotosto at +63 2 811 3183 or best, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These programs and class membership are open to anybody who can swim and are above age 8.